Various items popping around the interwebs even though I know you would rather talk about the Carmelo Anthony trade.
- Tyler Zeller has been named first team academic All-American, becoming the eighth Tar Heel in the history of the school to receiver the honor. In other words he is smart and the reason he does not dunk the basketball is he knows something we don't. Okay, I made that last part up. It should be noted no tutors' papers were used in the earning of this honor.
- Concerning things on the basketball court, Roy Williams told the media during the weekly ACC teleconference that Zeller was the team's "security blanket" in offensive dry spells. That was certainly the case on Saturday when several Zeller baskets extended the lead to 15 before a rash of turnovers gave it all back. Zeller has really been the most consistent Tar Heel if you take the whole season into account which C.Michael is doing in the Beyond the Box Player of the Year standings. What that really means is defenses will simply key on doubling Zeller in the post more often or settling for a zone to force other players(i.e. perimeter shooters) to beat them. The adjustment UNC has to make finding ways of getting Zeller and John Henson the ball in a position to score before the double team can come. Or actually hit some outside shots.
- NCSU forward Richard Howell will not be available for the Wolfpack versus UNC on Wednesday due to a head injury suffered at Maryland. Howell is the Pack's 2nd leading rebounder at 6.5 rpg which creates a huge problem facing one of the top rebounding teams in the country. If UNC does not take complete control of the boards in this one, something is seriously wrong. Also of note will be the matchup between an improved C.J. Leslie and John Henson. During the first game, Henson bought land and built a house inside Leslie's head. It will be interesting to see how that match-up goes.
- Roy Williams radio show quotes from Monday night: Two items of interest. One is Roy thinks the Heels just need to knock down shots. He is not unhappy with the selection and thinks they get good looks. The issue is the ball not going in the basket. Secondly, Roy admits he hurt Henson's development last season with the experiment at small forward. Even though it is what Henson wanted, credit to Roy for admitting the mistake.
- WRAL did an outstanding piece on former Tar Heel Charlie Scott and the issues he faced in being the first African-American basketball player at UNC. Of the many things Dean Smith did, his advocacy for Scott and his efforts to end segregation are possibly the most noteworthy.
- In a move that is significant because it breaks with long-standing tradition, the ACC is changing how it distributes tickets to its member schools for the crown jewel of the conference, the ACC tournament. The conference has always given the same number of tickets for each school, but this year, for the first time, tickets will be issued on a tiered system based on number of requests and proximity to Greensboro. UNC, N.C. State, Duke, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech each received nearly 2,000 books (up from 1750); Maryland, Clemson and Virginia each received about 1,600,and Boston College, Florida State, Miami and Georgia Tech each got roughly 1,200. The next thing the conference may consider is tiered pricing, as ticket books have always cost the same whether or not the tickets were courtside or on the top row of the building. This year's ticket book has a face value of almost $400.